In the beginning, when God created man in His own image, he was formed from the dust of the ground. God the Potter had created perfection, the zenith of His creative work. God spoke, and there it was; “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth,” so in His image He made him, male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27) So, from the good earth was man formed; however, the lifeless clay form stood before Him. Therefore, God “breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
In the days of the Patriarchs, catastrophe comes to Job as his family is taken from him, his livestock is stolen, and he is covered from head to foot in painful boils. He confesses that it is God who gives and takes away. (cf. Job 1:21) He asks his wife if we should accept only good from God and not adversity. (cf. Job 2:10) Four of His friends come to comfort him and do a poor job. Eventually, Elihu, Job’s young and pretentious friend who speaks a pearl of wisdom from time to time, speaks to rebuke the other three friends. He then turns his attention to Job and says, “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4)
The prophet Ezekiel is taken to a valley by the Spirit of YHWH and set in the midst of it, full of dry bones. “Son of man, can these bones live?” The prophet was commanded to prophesy to the bones to come together and live.
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. (Ezekiel 37:1-10)